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LULAC: Set The Children Free Says Federal Judge

Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Celebrates Court Order Issued Late Friday

Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) welcomed the long-overdue decision announced by Judge Dolly M. Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to release children being held in three detention centers after arriving here with their families as refugees seeking asylum.

“This is a true life and death matter for children being held against the will during a raging pandemic,” says Domingo Garcia, National President. “Innocent families’ lives have been destroyed waiting at the border for help that never came and for many parents who had no choice but to watch helplessly as their children were being taken from them. Now, COVID-19 has been sweeping through the detention centers at an alarming rate and we need to get the children out as fast as possible,” said Garcia.

Judge Gee’s ruling strongly criticizes the Trump administration and mandates release of the children without any further delay. “The family residential centers are on fire and there is no more time for half measures,” wrote Gee. Her order affects 124 children being held in three centers; one in Pennsylvania and two in Texas. The coronavirus has affected large numbers of ICE detainees. The latest reports show more than 2,500 people in custody have tested positive for COVID-19.

“LULAC hasn’t stopped fighting to free every child and family in detention by ICE,” says Garcia. “Tonight’s order by Judge Gee proves there are jurists on the bench who agree that these are people facing a threat to their very lives and they need to get out. We won’t stop until the centers, all of them, are shut down and with them, one of the darkest chapters in our history,” he added.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit